memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner


After three enjoyable and carefree years in Lisbon, Portugal,

I was promoted and sent up to take over our school in Porto.

Underserved, unmerited and unearned,

The jigsaw pieces of my life seemed to click into place.


Porto was the high summer, the apex of my life.

I finally got married to a nice attractive and intelligent Portuguese girl some ten years younger than myself, settled down and started to raise a family.

I entered the unfamiliar territory of domestic felicity.

I grew comfortable.

I became middle-aged and middle-class. The aspirations of these two groups became my aspirations.

We were very happy together and bought the top-floor apartment of a little walk-up building in a quiet, narrow street in the town-center just off the Rua de Constituição.

Over the years I began to take my marriage and my position at work for granted.

Well you do, don’t you?

I became complacent.

I didn’t see it coming.

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